By Margaret Hyde
My children are back in school, which means I am once again juggling everyone’s schedule and making sure that all the homework gets done. Each year my children come home at the beginning of school with homework that they are very excited to hand off to me. With at huge grin they say, “Mom, this is Mom homework.” It invariably reads something like “Please help us get to know your son or daughter by answering the following questions:
Describe your child in three sentences.
What are his/her strengths academically? Socially?
What would you like him/her to work on and learn this year?”
A couple of years ago when presented with this list of questions again, I decided to apply it to myself. Who am I? What are my strengths and weaknesses? What would I like to work on and learn this year? I realized that back to school could be a great time for me to evaluate my own growth and set goals that were possible to accomplish in the span of my children’s school year. I have noticed that every year the way I describe myself evolves and this mom self-evaluation homework has really enabled me to grow and learn in ways I would never have expected. One year I decided to learn to surf and I am still surfing today. Another year I tried to become fluent in Spanish-not my most successful endeavor, I still struggle and my kids still think my Spanglish is funny. One mom homework session led me to the need to be of service in a more hands on way, so I got involved with WriteGirl, a creative writing mentorship program. I have gotten to work with amazingly talented teen girls who have inspired me and helped me improve my writing as much as I have helped them. Last year, I decided to work on being more assertive with the help of Muay Thai punches and kicks and it helped loose the last of my baby weight.
So this year, who am I and what do I want to learn and where in my life do I want to grow? With a very busy toddler and middle school and high school age sons, I think that my personal challenge is balance. I want to try to achieve more balance in my life through better nutrition and calming relaxation techniques like meditation. I will be Oming and eating kale all the way through this school year.
What goals, both personally and professionally, will you be working on in this new school year? Try doing the mom homework above and choosing one thing you will work on for yourself this year. Just one thing you will take the time. We all tell are kids to do their homework, as moms we need to remember it is just as important for us to do ours as well. •